Following a five-month consultative process led by IDLO, the Municipality of San Pedro Sula has adopted a municipal-level policy on HIV/AIDS in the workplace, becoming the first city in Honduras to do so.
The adoption marks a significant step forward in respecting the rights and dignity of people living with HIV/AIDS.
The policy - anchored in the 2014 Honduran National Policy on HIV/AIDS at work - recognizes HIV/AIDS as a corporate social responsibility issue for both public and private employers, and commits the Municipality to taking action to eliminate discrimination against people living with HIV.
It also firmly establishes the principle that HIV is not a justifiable cause for dismissal and that people affected by HIV-related health conditions should be allowed to continue in their posts, if necessary with reasonable adjustments, as long as they are fit to do so.
In addition, the policy endorses promoting HIV prevention in the workplace, prohibits HIV testing as a means of excluding people from employment, and upholds confidentiality on HIV status.
Over the past few months, IDLO – in collaboration with UNAIDS and the National AIDS Forum (Forosida) – has facilitated a series of consultations involving municipal authorities and technical staff, NGOs, the National Association of People Living with HIV (ASONAPVSIDAH), networks of key population groups most at risk of being exposed to HIV, the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry, trade unions and human resource staff from local businesses.
According to civil society estimates, there are currently some 3,500 economically active people living with HIV in the city of San Pedro Sula.